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8th May 2022
WWII in Europe ended on the 8th May 1945 when a treaty was signed marking the unconditional surrender of German land and air forces. This moment in history marked the end of the war in Europe and the start of what is now known as VE Day – Victory Europe Day.
Churchill told the nation: “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. But let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead. Japan with all her treachery and greed remains unsubdued.
"We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance Britannia. Long live the cause of freedom."
Many of our veterans over the years have shared their memories of that historical day with us.
One Veteran, a Sergeant with the Royal Signals vividly recalled where she was when the war against the Germans had come to an end. She said: “I did not know that war was over until I was walking along the pier and harbour in the Isle of Man. They were all sounding their horns and I knew then that the war had ended. Everybody was happy that the war was over because things were starting to get difficult in many ways. Although the war was over I still had to go back to my work intercepting Morse code. Many other people were being demobbed and were given demobbed numbers.” She continued “I celebrated the end of the war in Europe by taking part in a VE Day party in the Corporal Rear Room at the base on Isle of Man, quite a quiet affair. We never got the chance to join in on any of the VE street celebrations.”
Another Veteran this time from Glasgow said: “Glasgow was bursting with excitement everyone knew the war was over but awaited the official confirmation. Finally on 8 May 1945 it finally came - the voice of Winston Churchill over the radio: 'Although the enemy in the Far East has yet to be conquered, the war in Europe is now over, God Save The King.' That was the cue for the city of Glasgow to celebrate. Schools were closed for the day. It was a day of celebration! In Glasgow the main and immediate celebration in was in the city’s George Square”.
Another remembers standing at the top of Union Street in Aberdeen watching the Polish troops leave Aberdeen with everyone lining the streets to say goodbye to the Polish soldiers who had been very popular in the northern city. The atmosphere was buoyant, very happy, elated.
A bit further afield in India a RAF Veteran recalled going to a party in Bombay to celebrate the end of the War.
Precious memories of those who sacrificed so much.
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